Thursday, May 20, 2021

Convergence, Ep2: Federico Ast & Sophie Nappert – Blockchain ODR & Crowdsourced Decision-Making

In Ep2 of “Convergence” host Oladeji Tiamiyu discusses blockchain technology and decentralized justice with guests Federico Ast and Sophie Nappert.

“Convergence” is a bi-weekly, limited series of conversations with thought-leaders and practitioners at the intersection of dispute resolution and technology. Host Oladeji Tiamiyu will focus on such topics as the role technology has had in resolving disputes during the pandemic, various ways  technological tools have historically been incorporated into dispute resolution, and creative use cases that technology presents for resolving disputes into the future.

Host

Oladeji Tiamiyu

Guests

Federico Ast is passionate about civic innovation and the application blockchain and artificial intelligence for the digital transformation of finance, law and government and the founder and CEO of Kleros, a blockchain project for online dispute resolution. Kleros won the Blockchains for Good Award from the European Commission. Ast is a lecturer and speaker on innovation, startups, fintech, legaltech, digital transformation, blockchain and new technologies. He teaches two courses in the online education platform Coursera: Blockchain Disruption and Legal Tech and the Digital Transformation of Law. Ast earned a Ph.D. in management from IAE Business School and is an alumni of the Singularity University.

Sophie Nappert is an arbitrator in independent practice, based in London. She is dual-qualified as an Avocat of the Bar of Quebec, Canada and as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales. Before becoming a full-time arbitrator, she pursued a career as an advocate and was Head of International Arbitration at a global law firm.  For over a decade she served as the peer-nominated Moderator of OGEMID, the online discussion forum on current issues of international investment law, economic law and arbitration. She is commended as “most highly regarded” and a “leading light” in the field by Who’s Who Legal. Sophie is an award-winning lecturer and the first female recipient of the Global Arbitration Review Award for Best Speech in 2016 for her Inaugural EFILA Annual Lecture on International Investment Arbitration: Escaping from Freedom? The Dilemma of an Improved ISDS. She delivered the 2018 Proskauer Lecture on International Arbitration, Disruption Is The New Black, which was also shortlisted for Best Speech at the 2019 GAR Awards. She pioneered scholarship on technology in arbitration that is cited as a reference on the topic. In 2021, she co-founded ArbTech, a worldwide, online community forum fostering cross-disciplinary dialogue on technology, dispute resolution and the future of justice. Sophie is the author of a Commentary on the 2010 UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules. She is a guest lecturer at Columbia Law School, Harvard Law School and McGill University Faculty of Law. She created the Nappert Prize in International Arbitration, open to young scholars and practitioners worldwide, administered under the auspices of McGill University.

Nappert holds degrees in common law and civil law from McGill University and a Masters’ Degree in Law from King’s College London. In 2019, she completed the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School Programme on Blockchain Strategy.

Resources

ArbTech is a worldwide community fostering cross-disciplinary dialogue on tech, dispute resolution, and the future of Justice.

Dispute Revolution: The Kleros Handbook of Decentralized Justice is a recently published book to learn more about blockchain-based online dispute resolution.

“Proof of Humanity is a system combining social verification with video submission to create a Sybil-proof list of humans.

Transcript

Oladeji Tiamiyu  00:01   1.2.3.4. Welcome to “Convergence” with Oladeji Tiamiyu. So this episode is all about the role of blockchain technology, game theory and crypto economics can have with online dispute resolution. So if you are unfamiliar with any of these terms, buckle up. This conversation will provide an overview of these terms, while also getting into a fair amount of detail for those who have already been initiated. For this conversation, I am pleased to have two experts in the field joining me. First is Federico Ast, who is the founder and CEO of Kleros, a blockchain-based online dispute resolution platform.  Kleros received the European Union’s Blockchains for Social Good Award, and Kleros is also a Thomson Reuters grantee. In addition to his work with Kleros, Federico is a professor on Coursera, where he teaches classes on blockchain technology and legal tech in Spanish to thousands around the world. Next is Sophie Nappert, who is an arbitrator and scholar with extensive arbitration experience in both civil and common law jurisdictions. She has been at the forefront of exploring the role of blockchain technology and artificial intelligence in arbitration. Most recently, Sophie founded ArbTech, a worldwide online forum, fostering dialogue on technology dispute resolution and the future of justice. All right, Sophie Nappert and Federico Ast, welcome to “Convergence.” I’m really glad to have you both join today.

Sophie Nappert  02:11   Thank you very much.

Oladeji  02:13   Federico, I actually wanted to start with you, because you’re the first person on the show to also be teaching a massive open online course, a MOOC. So you teach a class at Coursera covering blockchain technology. And I’ve actually been a really strong supporter of these open online courses since 2011. And I think it’s beautiful that anyone, anywhere, at any age, as long as they have access to the internet, can learn about anything that professors are teaching. And these are from experts in the field like yourself. So maybe open online courses also illustrates how technology is fundamentally decentralizing and self-empowering tool. So, you know, before I write an ode to these open online courses, I just wanted to ask you and get a sense from you, what your experience has been like teaching through Coursera, and also exactly what you teach.

Federico Ast  03:20   Yeah, so I have a two courses. One is about blockchain. And in general, you know, the financial aspects, cryptocurrencies, and the legal aspects, of course, smart contracts, and then the Dow, and well, how blockchain is disrupting, or transforming, you know, governance processes. That’s one course. And then I have another one, it’s called the Lawyer of the Future. And it’s basically a legal course, where we discuss the digital transformation of law, some the impact of machine learning, like, you know, platforms, like Google Analytics, predictive analytics for trials, and then also, of course, blockchain through the smart contracts aspects. And ODR systems, how they work and also give some tips to, well to lawyers who want to reinvent their career, in the context of digital transformation of law. To me, it’s been amazing, you know, both have almost, you know, 25,000 students. And, you know, and it’s, as you mentioned, you know, it’s another example of how, you know, technology and internet is giving opportunities to people who are everywhere, right. And I specifically wanted to do this courses in Spanish because if you are an English speaking person, you well you can access to lots of resources on legal tech and blockchain, your language and you know, the there is about a barrier for people who are not native English speakers and lots of people, you know, they don’t speak English in my country in Argentina and Latin America, either, right? So it’s a really great experience of, you know, helping people, you know, get the tools that they need to succeed in the world that is coming.

Oladeji  05:21   Yeah, that’s beautiful, and 25,000 students. That is, I mean, do you think you’ll get to 1 million at some point [laughs]?

Federico  05:33   You know, the thing, the funny thing with this is like, like, the 5000 students sounds like a lot. But then you see other people who like have like, one, yeah, 1 million. And you see, oh, but nobody likes my class on my course. You know, it’s not much. But you know, yeah. If you think like, this is a stadium, right? It’s a lot of people who took the class, right? And yeah, it’s huge. It’s huge. And, you know, let me just tell you something. Chile, I went there for a conference, yeah the conference, and you know, I’m at the airport, and I go to the rental car agency, and the guy who gives me the car that I rented, he tells me, he tells me, are you Federico Ast? I then was like, Okay, my card was rejected, or I something, and no, but, you know, I took your blockchain course and you are helping me like to transfer my career to work on, you know, technology, and that. So I see the impact, right, that these courses can have.

Oladeji  05:50   Yeah, yeah. It’s so powerful. I mean, you’re essentially a professor celebrity, you know. It’s like, the Greek philosopher King for you. It’s Professor celebrity, right [laughs]?

Federico  06:53   Yeah, the closest thing I can get to being a celebrity [laughs].

Oladeji  06:58   So I get the sense that what we’re talking about here with the role of blockchain technology in dispute resolution is a pretty unique research and professional interest. So I was maybe a bit curious to hear from both of you, Sofie and Federico, about what attracted you to this field?

Sophie Nappert  07:21   What attracted me to this field? Um, I, I started to be interested in this back in 2015 2016, which sounds not very long ago, but in legal tech terms is like years ago, really, given the developments that have happened since, especially with the pandemic, obviously. Because I quickly realized as as a decision maker as an arbitrator, that evidence was being given to me, or put before me, that had been gathered at the time mostly by algorithms, mainly in the area of damages, or quantum experts. I’ve published, and I’ve been interested in the past, in the psychology of persuasion and advocacy, and the impact that it has on the decision-making mind and your hueristics, your biases. And very quickly, it occurred to me that whatever was presented by technological means, appeared almost infallible to the human mind. And so as a decision-maker, you question yourself, you say, well, what scope do I have to question or to disagree with results that have been provided by a machine that is so much quicker, so much accurate, than a human as sifting through mountains of data? And how can I probe the validity of that evidence? That’s, that really is the, that was the trigger for me. And then I published, with Paul Cohen, an article in 2017 most mostly dealing with with AI at the time, and then that that brought me to inquire about blockchain, which was a different, obviously a different beast, and took a course in the field at the University of Oxford. And that’s how I first came across Kleros. So that’s, that’s my genesis.

Federico  09:26   Well my experience is, I’m from Argentina, and you know, I started my my background is in economics, actually, and philosophy. Started my career in working in the online media and particularly in business section of an important newspaper, and that got me in contact with all the startups ecosystem and innovation and I think it was like 2013 and people were starting to mention these new, you know, financial innovation of the cryptocurrencies and particularly Bitcoin. Which obviously, for Argentinians, with you know, this financial application of some some technology in a country where, you know, you had like 60%, inflation and lots of problems in governance, people were very interested in the financial application for how you can use Bitcoin to, just not to use government issued money, which is being debased at every moment. And, but I saw in blockchain another like potential, which was the possibility of building governance systems, right. Like you, you can use smart contracts to build an organization that’s going to work specifically as it’s intended to work and no one can tamper with that. And that was very powerful in the context of a country like Argentina and a lot of emerging economies where you know, you’re, so there’s sort of corruption, lots of problems to access justice. And so blockchain was very transformative from the perspective as well. So that’s what got me interested in the first place.

Oladeji  11:20   Yeah, that’s, that’s beautiful. And like, Sophie, you’re touching on blockchain as kind of an alternative to AI dispute resolution facilitated systems and Federico, I think your point on how cryptocurrencies have been pretty transformative for for countries especially that deal with hyperinflation, you know. I have family in Nigeria. And similarly to Argentina. It’s like, every year, the rate of inflation is just increasing and increasing and the value of your money is just decreasing. And it can be pretty devastating for communities, for families. And sometimes, like, if you’re in America, you can kind of overlook the the negative impact that inflation can have. But once you step outside of a select few countries that have low inflation and the significant amount of countries right now have a lot of inflation. And, obviously, you know, there are monetary policies in place going on right now that many people are saying, will increase inflation for the future. So so I get the sense that blockchain and cryptocurrencies like have an important role to play there. And so we’ve thrown out blockchain a couple of times. And there’s a possibility that some of our listeners might not really know what a blockchain actually is. For me, I just think of it as a, in a really simplistic terms, a distributed ledger, where individuals, nodes in the system, can kind of transact with each other to verify that transactions have occurred. What else would you add to that definition for listeners who might not really know what blockchain is?

Federico  13:25   You know, after trying to explain blockchain different ways, I think the best way found is a metaphor with, you know, the monetary system of a tribe—it’s called the Yaps and it’s a tribe that lives in the island of Palau in Micronesia — and they, they have, their money is—and this is a real story—it’s a rock, a coin, you know, it’s made of stone. It weighs like 400 kilos. And since they couldn’t like move it around, make payments, they just decided to leave the stone in the same place and remember who was the owner, right, of these different stones. But so one alternative was to like designate, choose one member of a tribe to remember, to who the owner was But that had the problem that this guy could like forget or could die, or could you know be bribed and or could like start charging fees for every transaction? So like, why did what they did you know, it’s um, they have every member of the tribe remember who the owner of each rock is. And then well, they own, they each had, they knew by heart, who on each rock from the beginning, from the moment is the rock was was first, you know, crafted and to the present time and all the people who had it over time. So each of them have the same copy of this ledger. And so when someone wanted to make a payment to another one, so I say, Okay, I’m going, guys, I’m going to send this rock that is like a near the palm tree on the beach to Oladeji. So everyone could like to see me announcing this and everyone like could update their mental ledger to say, Okay, this rock goes from Federico to Oladeji. So if you replace the memory of these little guys by computers, and you know, this rock by some crypto asset like Bitcoin, so that’s the main, you know, like intuition behind the blockchain, this network of computers that share, you know, digital database where they will have the same copy and they and no one is the owner, you know. We are all owners of this database, it’s a public good. So no one can like tamper with it, no one can make a record changes. So this is how, you know, I try to explain blockchain, maybe Sophie has some better idea, but this is how I try to explain my students.

Sophie  15:53   I think that’s the best the best one I’ve heard so far of the very many. And it explains why for the Federico Ast is now a star of the blockchain education [laughs]. I think it’s a great explanation. That’s exactly what it is. It’s, and the difficult thing I think, for the certainly the lawyerly mind, to get your head round is the fact that there is no central authority, for the moment anyway, on the public blockchain. Obviously, there are versions of blockchains that function more like an intranet where you have permissions, but we’re not talking about that, we’re talking about the to the original concept, and I think Federico’s analogy is very, very apt.

Oladeji  16:39   Yeah, yeah. And it’s, I think, fundamental to understanding the type of work that Kleros is doing right now is, obviously, understanding what a blockchain actually is. And in the blockchain ODR space, I get the sense that game theory and crypto economics really has a essential role to play for managing and resolving disputes. And once again, game theory and crypto economics could be to two concepts that some of our listeners might not be aware of. And my narrow definition of game theory would be just using mathematical models to understand how individuals make decisions with respect to counterparts, and maybe crypto economics, I’d just say is merging game theory with cryptography. And I recognize that both of you are experts in this field, basically. So what else would you add to those definitions for people who are still learning?

Sophie  17:49   I mean, I will just preface this because obviously Fede can can say a lot more about game theory and crypto economics than I can. I will just preface this by saying that, to my knowledge, the few players in the blockchain ODR platform, not all of them adhere to a, I would say, a purist or a strict game theory model. Kleros does, and Fede will, will tell us how they do that. But there is I think there is there is a certain recognition, I think by some of the players, that the strict game theory model might be difficult to leverage at a or to scale up at a more mainstream basis. And so they have shied away, I think, from being completely buying into that that model. But but Kleros has, and it is, as I found out in yesterday’s community call, well into its development of version 2.0 of its courts, which is a very sophisticated model of game theory. So I’m going to stop here and let Fede explain.

Federico  19:04   Yeah, well, I think a good analogy to understand this is you know, how the industry of encyclopedias evolved. So, in the beginning, you had the Britannica right? And then you know, Britannica was made with some editing like an editor and who was an expert in making encyclopedias. And this guy hired number of writers, each of them expert in some topic, and they wrote articles, and they assembled everything together. And they had, you know, an encyclopedia, right? But then came the internet. And so what people started doing is okay, let’s translate this model of the Britannica encyclopedia into the internet. And that’s how Encarta was born. You know, Encarta by Microsoft is basically an encyclopedia made in the old way where you have some editor and he hires number of authors and they write articles and then the only difference between Britannica and Encarta is that well, the distribution channel is different because Encarta, distribute this is through a CD ROMs first and then through, you know, the internet. And then what happened is that Britannica could like, basically copy the model because they just had to do what they were doing. But in the internet, and that was perfectly fine, and they launched their online version. But then came another model, which was the Wikipedia model. And, and this was completely different, because it was completely overhauling of how the encyclopedia was, was made. So now you didn’t have the central expert who will who would like choose authors and then hire them and pay them to write articles. You will have a decentralized community that self regulates in order to produce and encyclopedia that people will started to us. As you know, you know, Encarta doesn’t exist anymore. Britannica doesn’t exist anymore. And you know, Wikipedia is what works now. And it completely change the way in which, you know, encyclopedias are made, and no one will ever make an encyclopedia in the old way again. So you can use this analogy to think how game theory and crypto economics apply to the world of dispute resolution. So of course, you have the traditional method of arbitration, where you have experts who are, you know, chosen by parties to adjudicate some dispute, and then they go and they meet in some place, and then they make hearings and a lot and then well, they they make a decision. Then, of course, you have a new version of this digital version, which is basically the same. You have an expert chosen by parties, and the process works more or less the same, but with well, online with zoom. So but it doesn’t fundamentally change the way in which the solution procedure is done. And then you have the Wikipedia moment for for arbitration, which is more like, yeah, you completely change how the model works. In this case, by using the crowd the wisdom of the crowd, in order to, to to call disputes. This is done well by economic incentives, and game theory. And you have like a number of, I can explain later if you want more, but basically, you provide anyone from the internet the chance to become a juror, and if they do honest work, following the rules of [indecipherable] they will earn money, and if they don’t, well, they will lose money. So it’s kind of I think that is a good way to explain, you know, there’s your encyclopedia metaphor. Its a good way to understand how, yeah, how this is evolving.

Oladeji  22:51   Yeah, so . . . .

Sophie Nappert  22:51   So with with the with, sorry Oladeji, with the caveat, of course that, and I’m not gonna harp on about this, but I as the lawyer involved, to say this, with the caveat that, of course, in the Wikipedia arena, obviously, people can contribute rubbish, but they will not use money for it. They might lose a certain reputation, although it’s, it’s anonymous. But the game, the important thing, from a lawyer’s perspective, trained in the more traditional system, is that it puts monetary incentive at the heart of justice. And now there are views about that, there may be moral views about that, or ethical views about that. But that’s essentially what the difference between what Frederico’s explaining in terms of Wikipedia and what the Kleros model model offers.

Oladeji  23:43   Yeah, yeah, and, and I think this concept of the wisdom of the crowds is so fundamental to Kleros, and like, decentralized justice overall. And I went when I was learning about Kleros, I use the example of kind of Reddit. To acquire information you go to Reddit and an information is posted by individuals and honestly, people have a quasi-monetary incentive to publish high quality things because then they get awards that also have some type of monetary benefit to it. And, and then they have the most popular is the one that is usually the most well researched, and the one that people support the most. And it doesn’t have to be necessarily based on ideological perspectives, which is based on informational awareness raising. So so I feel like the Internet has opened up all of these avenues for decentralization and crowdsourcing knowledge, skills. in ways that the pre-internet era didn’t have. And blockchains kind of go an extra level to allow a greater decentralization.

Sophie  25:08   You’re absolutely right. And central to what you say, and this is a topic of current interest of mine for both discussion and publication, is that what I’m seeing is there is a great shifting taking place of the trust that a users of dispute resolution are placing in the process and the decision makers. Because on the internet, and in e-commerce, you are dealing with people who live essentially on social media, myself, and many others transact on it. And trust does not function in the same way as it does in our traditional courts. You do not as a litigant place your trust in two or three or one arbitrator or judge, you know, imposed on you are chosen by by even chosen by you. But you place your trust in your peers. And that, to me is the is a very important disruption of how dispute resolution is progressing in future. You’re seeing that people trust — and that’s what Kleros is banking on, of course, with the game theory model. The wisdom of crowds has a can have a negative connotation, but for people transacting online, it has a very positive connotation. If only you think about, you know the number of likes that you get for a post or for, as you see on Reddit, for example, it has value. And likewise for the decision of a dispute that you may have, you place your trust in a number, a certain volume of people who are who are your peers, and that is completely revolutionary for decision maker in the traditional system.

Federico  26:57   Let me let me here, also add you know, this movement that we’re seeing in decentralized justice, and in the legal field, it’s the same movement we’re seeing in other industries. I already mentioned, you know, Wikipedia. So people are trusting and encyclopedia made by their peers, not by some authority, who knows how to make encyclopedias. And in the world of finance people are trusting you know, Bitcoin or crypto assets in general, which is basically, okay, you trust your peers to maintain this, this digital ledger of monetary units and not central banks. This is kind of part of a broader movement that involves, and this we can discuss, I know, why. So this, I would call it like backlash against the elites, increasing trust in peers, for a number of new, of social interactions that now tend to happen online.

Sophie  27:51   I don’t know if I like that term backlash against the elites. But [laughs} given that I, I belong to the dinosaur generation of arbitrators, but I think I think you’re absolutely right, that it is more I think of turning your gaze towards something that feels closer to you, that feels less remote, that feels more accessible, that you think will relate to the stuff that you’re going through. Especially in current times where we are going through unprecedented sort of uncertainty and, and hardship worldwide, because of the virus and, and current political movements. So So definitely, there is a very important shift going on there.

Oladeji  28:41   Sophie, I just I have to disagree that you are from the dinosaur generation, because you are here with us talking about blockchain technology, and I feel like that is that’s a quite youthful activity.

Sophie  28:54   Thank you. You want my hero, thank you.

Federico  28:57   I was going to say the same. You are a good example of not being from the dinosaurs generation. You you are like working on this technology basically,

Sophie  29:06   That’s very sweet. I meant that my training obviously, and and where I work is a very traditional conventional one, in legal terms, and that’s what I meant by that. But thank you very much.

Oladeji  29:21   And I would even say that, I feel like right now it is the permission-less generation that we’re seeing. We’re seeing it with Wikipedia, Reddit, and certainly with blockchain ODR like like Kleros where anyone, once again, as long as you have access to the internet, can engage with this, similar to massive open online courses. And you don’t need to get admitted into a college to have Coursera, access to Coursera. You don’t need to have — sorry Federico — you don’t need to have a PhD to publish on Wikipedia as long as the information is precise enough. So there’s a certain level of permission-lessness that I think prior eras had maybe less of a focus of on or maybe more precisely, less appreciation for the value that can come from their peers as we’re seeing today.

Sophie  30:22   And as well, less of an ability to communicate instantaneously. I think I think the permission-lessness as really thrive because of that amazing ability that we have to communicate with people that possibly we have never met and will never meet again, or might form a relationship with online, but it is very much this instantaneousness of communication. And this immediacy is also I think, a great disruptive feature of blockchain ODR, because there is no way that traditional systems, even expedited arbitration, even, you know, summary court proceedings can match how quickly matters are decided on Kleros, for example. It’s a matter of hours or at most days, and so that that’s another factor that’s very important.

Oladeji  31:19   Yeah, and so we can say that blockchain ODR has a use case in comparison to traditional litigation and arbitration because of its speed. And historically, that’s actually been an argument that proponents of artificial intelligence-related ODR have proposed. You can resolve disputes quicker when artificial intelligence is, is supporting a third party neutral, for example. And Sophie, I wanted to go back to what you said a bit earlier, where you were talking about how, in some of your research, you recognize how it was hard to disagree with AI. And AI kind of is a black box, people who are engaging with AI don’t really see the code and the algorithms that are influencing or directing the AI system. So I was curious to hear from both of you about how blockchain ODR, something like Kleros is a divergence or presents a benefit to resolving disputes that AI based ODR does not have.

Sophie  32:35   I mean, again, so Fede will be more informed than I am on me about this than I am. But certainly, I think that AI is a nemsis for Kleros because Kleros is very much based on human minds, and, and human minds converging. And the problem with AI is that even the coders lose sight in the machine learning process of how the algorithm comes to its conclusions. What that means for the traditional decision makers, such as me, is that you have to rely on experts. And even these experts are going to be telling you at one point I have to stop here, I don’t know, I don’t know how else you know how I can go forward and explain anything to you. Kleros’ model is very much about, although as I understand it, and Fede will tell me if I’m wrong, the selection of jurors is done randomly, according to an algorithm, the actual decision-making is human.

Federico  33:38   Yeah, you know, there is this famous investor who was a founder of PayPal, co founder with Elon Musk called Peter Thiel, and he has this quite famous, you know, quote, he says, AI is totalitarian, and blockchain is libertarian. In the sense of, you know, you know, AI is, when we think about AI, of course, it’s super useful, and we use it and it’s great. It’s the engine behind the Amazon, you know, recommendation engine, and, you know, that’s awesome, but also has, you know, this, applied to justice, it can have quite negative, you know, implications. Particularly if you think for example, you know, the predictive analytics for trials that say that you now in order to make more efficient with the court system, so the government decides that instead of you going to court [undecipherable] are going to go to a pre pre previous step where you know, some AI algorithm is going to like, assess your [undecipherable] the case and depending on the odds of these of you may have you winning with will go or not go to trial, right. So now I’d say, Okay, I go to court and then, you know, they assess my case, with the robot tool, and they tell me a look, you have 95% chance of losing. So you like it, this is not worth it for a judge to analyze so you just don’t have the right to go to trial. So the implications of this type of AI applications in this context could deny the right to justice to to lots of people, right. So when you are designing one of these systems you want, of course, you don’t want to teach AI because AI is great, because it’s very efficient. It’s very, you know, it’s fast, it’s faster than Kleros. It’s faster, it’s more, it’s cheaper. But you need also to think of another instance, that’s going to be like a human-driven instance, where humans are going to make decisions. So you might have a first instance with AI, right, but then you want to have another, you know, a peer round where humans are going to participate there. And so you can have your day in court, let’s call it like that. And so a number of situations they cannot be solved by by AI, because there are some subjective situations, interpretation, there are like, some things are simply not meant for, for AI. And I think that’s where Kleros can help.

Oladeji  36:23   Yeah, and that feels precise. Like blockchains have this ability to empower individuals. AI, even though it presents efficiency benefits, it also disempowers individuals. And so Federico, you’re the CEO at Kleros, and I know relatively recently now, maybe a couple of months ago, you created this new concept around proof of humanity, which I think further strengthens the the approach that you’re taking with empowering individuals. And my understanding is it’s proof of humanity as a mechanism that is trying to solve problems where online bots are impersonating humans, and artificial intelligence is manipulating the public, right. We see this with with Facebook, through spreading misinformation. In Myanmar, we’ve seen that and proof of humanity seems to provide an opportunity to limit some of the negative externalities of artificial intelligence. So I wanted to explore Proof of Humanity a bit and just ask how that project has been going, and what surprises you found since launching?

Federico  37:51   Yeah, well, thank you for asking. This is something I’m very excited about. For a long time, you know, people have been obsessed with, or interested with, Okay, what it’s like could robots start to replace humans? And how do we like tell a difference? You know, since the work of Alan Turing 1950 he published this famous paper where he presents The Imitation Game where you put someone to the interact with the machine and then the person has to decide whether who is on the other side is a human or a machine and you know, they have to try to understand the cues. So then of course we know “Blade Runner” you know, the blade runners who are trying to you know, capture detect these robots. This is novel by Philip Dick in the from the 1960s I think and then we’ll have the movie with Harrison Ford and, and, you know, did that dystopian, of course, “Terminator” as well, right? Especially the liquid metal one. That dystopian aspect, you know of a robot impersonating people. Well, this started to become like real now on the internet. Not under not under the form of, you know, looking like human type of bots. But yes, in the form of being able to emulate us, like, through written text on the internet, like, on telegram, you know, I have like, on telegram I have many impersonators, like you have some bots that maybe you have been a victim of [undecipherable] impersonator Sophie. I know.

Sophie  39:34   I don’t have that honor. But I know that there are many Federicos [laughs]. Absolutely.

Federico  39:41   If you’re, you’re on Telegram, and you have like we have a Telegram group of Kleros. And you know, somedays then you’re like, just there and then you get like a message from a guy like me with my picture and my name. And then Hey, Oladeji how are you? Look, I’m, I’m in trouble. I need you to send me like two Bitcoins. And use, and using what? Okay, and then there is, you know, this is a bot. This is like AI, with a number of rules, answering the most common, you know, replies by by humans. And then, of course, it’s like it’s like a phishing email, you know, they send like 1 million and then .1% fall to it. And, well, you know, that works. That’s a business model for the scammers and add to this, you know, that it’s becoming like, AI becomes better at text, but also well, deep fake, you know.  Imagine, now, it’s not just some written text, it’s like just some guy looking like Federico and with Federico’s voice, like, the guy could who you’re speaking to, I could be like my impersonator, a bot, right,

Oladeji  40:48   Federico, could I just share how terrified I am of deep fakes, like, in, I want to say around 2014, there was the Barack Obama impersonation, that was so real, but it was a deep fake. And I think like Tom Cruise has one out there that is basically Tom Cruise with his expressions, his voice, but it isn’t actually Tom Cruise. So sorry to cut you off, I just have to share how terrifying . . .

Sophie  41:19   I mean how do we know that we’re even dealing with Federico, the real Federico on this podcast? [laughs]

Federico  41:24   [Laughs] That’s what I mean. That’s, that’s what I mean. Like, you, you you don’t you don’t know. But so imagine this text ask you to prove humanity? Like how can we make a system to detect these malicious AIs right, around the internet. So there are a number of of, you know, at least for now, you know, cues that gives you the, that can give you some trust that the person that you have in front of you is a human, right. For example, if I record a video of me like saying some things, and we like holding my Ethereum address and then I submit the application from Ethereum account, and this matches with my design I have in front of me and look in the camera, and they have to say a sentence. So for now, this is very hard for computers to fake, right. So we created a platform where anyone can submit like a submission in order to be added into our list. And in order to be added to this list of humans, it’s a list that only will have humans and non-duplicate humans, right. So I want to be in that list. And I make a video saying I certify that I’m a real human, and I am not already registered in the registry, looking at the camera, and then I have to make a submission and a deposit and you know, other people will be able to see my submission, and if they think that I am a deep fake, they can like challenge my submission. And then there is like a kind of a trial situation. It’s this, okay,  [undecipherable] that says he’s a human. And the challenger that says that hey this not a human is a robot, or this is a duplicate submission. So Kleros can solve this problem, you know, now, this goes to court in Kleros, and the jurors in Kleros are going to analyze the submission. And they’re going to decide, following a number of rules if this is or not a real human. So the result of this mechanism design is, which is called Proof of Humanity, is this list of humans that has like many different applications it could be used for. For example, have you seen that when sometimes you have to log into a website, and you have like some button that says, you know, log in with Facebook or log in with Google, or that takes your Google credentials in order for you to access that that website. So you could like log in with your Proof of Humanity profile now, right? So and this is not owned by Google. So Google will not know where you are going in the internet, because no one owns, only you own Proof of Humanity and your profile, right? So that’s one possible application. And then another very cool application that we are already working on is well, we have universal basic income this, some people think that humans should receive some income just because of being human as a human right. And so for this to be effective, the distribution of this of this income, you need a list of people to receive it, right. And what happens is that people try to game this list in the context of having more than one profile and getting more income than what they should have. So Proof of Humanity has this potential of making sure that each submission or profile on that list is unique. So it, it’s not, it cannot be gamed. So everyone will receive just one universal basic income, right. So there are many more applications, but this is like the gist of it. It’s like the [undecipherable] using Kleros jurors in order to, well, make a mechanism that will produce a list of unique humans that will be used for lots of different things.

Oladeji  45:13   Yeah, I think Proof of Humanity has such an important business proposition, like I’m even thinking, a few days ago, there was a ransomware attack on an oil and gas company. And that’s resulting in a huge, huge backlog for…

Sophie  45:34   Enormous, yeah.

Oladeji  45:35   Yeah. And I’m just thinking, to a certain extent, Proof of Humanity has this opportunity where if you are operating within a business before certain transactions are approved, if you’re a decision-maker, C-suite in a company, you have to have your Proof of Humanity set up so that someone else can’t impersonate you. And then even for the general population, data breaches are becoming more and more common, like the big ones are with Equifax and with large financial institutions. And to me, I feel like Proof of Humanity can be another step with two-step authentication, right? Like, in addition to receiving a text message, requiring you to prove your identity, you also have to go through Proof of Humanity’s protocol to verify too. Data breaches are going to be, they aren’t going anywhere, they’re just gonna keep increasing. So I think it’s really important the work you’re doing.

Federico  46:36   Yeah, well, this is um, you know, a completely different world. And um, you know, the attacker, so you didn’t know who the attacker is on the internet. Like, it could be anywhere, it could be anonymous. The future and this is where, you know, the world of professional arbitration starts to well, fall short and… A lot of contracts, in the context of cryptocurrencies in the context of digital business, and so, are between anonymous parties. Like you don’t know who the other guy is, when you transact into decentralized finance protocol, a lending protocol, that you lend money to someone who you don’t know. And, you know, there’s not, you know, there’s not a central company that is operating these decentralized finance protocols you know. So this is just a digital bureaucracy, if you want, a set of rules coded into smart contracts that operates in some way, which, you know, no one controls, it’s like a public good. No one, no one controls, but everyone controls, because it’s owned by the community. And there is governance [undecipherable] in order to make these decisions of how this should operate. This is very hard for me to see how, you know, traditional arbitration can, you know, get to speed. But maybe Sophie of you have some ideas about this.

Sophie  47:57   I mean, anonymity is the great enemy of traditional dispute resolution, including arbitration. And so there is no question that in order to be able to address those kinds of disputes, there’s going to be, to have to be a recognition that how to how to, to grasp the anonymity, that’s, that’s part, that’s part and parcel of these transactions. I cannot I mean, that may be my my lawyer mind at work but I cannot help but think that a little bit like what happened with the internet, where there was this great promise of an open space without regulation, this will, at one point, attract well, is already attracting the minds of regulators. Because anonymity is great, if you are someone with good faith intentions behind, but there is obviously a whole nefarious area of much more criminal activity that can take advantage of it. So yeah, that’s, that’s, that’s what I can say about it.

Oladeji  49:13   Yeah, I’m thinking, of I’m thinking of, what the Silk Road, you know, and the Silk Road, at least in the early innings of Bitcoin, attracted a lot of attention to Bitcoin, because even though one of the major players in in the Silk Road was was was arrested, and caught, it still allowed this opportunity due to the anonymizing nature of Bitcoin to facilitate some, some dangerous activities on the dark net with the Silk Road. I do have one question, and maybe this could be the hardest question related to Kleros, so get ready. So I, I find it interesting that Kleros is, to a certain extent, attached to the umbilical cord of Ethereum, because Kleros operates on the Ethereum blockchain. And Ethereum is a general purpose blockchain. So that’s where all the smart contracts are coming from. All of the creativity, dare I say, with decentralized finance, and now with decentralized justice is coming with, through the Ethereum blockchain. So Federico, I wanted to get your sense on challenges that the Ethereum blockchain brings to you. The benefits are significant, but right now Ethereum has pretty high gas prices. It’s a volatile gas price market right now. But there are certain ways where high gas prices, basically a tax for people who don’t know what gas prices are, for lack of a better word a tax in order to transact on the Ethereum blockchain. I’m curious with high “taxes” how that could affect the the Kleros vision for decentralized justice.

Federico  51:17   Yeah, I guess, I mean, current moment of Ethereum is of very high transaction fees. So obviously, this is very bad. If you have to spend, you know, $100 per transaction. It’s very bad for resolving a whole number of like smaller claims that are happening on the internet, which Kleros tries to target. But this is not the kind of things that we worry in the long-term, because we can see this as you know, internet in 1995, you know. Yes, of course, you’re aware it’s very slow. It’s a, it’s expensive, because you have to, and you can’t use your phone at the same time, because you’re using the phone line for the internet. But then when broadband came, and so mobile, and everything is like… now you have 5g and who knows what comes next? It’s part of you know, this technology, evolution of everything starts as not being very good in performance compared to existing alternatives. That’s why people in the 1990s say “Why why why would anyone use the internet, you have the fax machine? Why do we need an internet?” Right and email. Right? So it’s kind of the same type of situation. Ethereum is already working a lot in scalability. Decentralized networks have a number of technical challenges in order to become like, cheaper and faster without sacrificing the decentralization. Because one way to make everything cheaper and faster is yeah, it’s okay, you just centralize everything into a server. And then you go back to the previous, you know, situation, of course, it’s going to be really cheap. But Ethereum wants to scale, while keeping the decentralized aspect, which is the interesting aspect that makes a lot of people want to build on top of Ethereum, right. So it’s really not the concern about Kleros. And generally speaking, you know because the long-term concerns that other like people who are building decentralized apps its not the gas price its bad for the short-term, but is going to be solved. And like if Ethereum fails in solving this, like other blockchains will do it. And people will migrate to these other blockchains and Kleros is in itself, blockchain agnostic. So if Ethereum fails, which I hope it doesn’t fail, because I like the community and all that, but Kleros could easily work in some other blockchain without any problem.

Oladeji  53:51   Great, yeah, that makes complete sense. And, you know, the the Etheruem community is really robust. We can only hope it doesn’t fail, but there are other options that are gaining popularity, if if, in the short-term or medium-term, the challenge with gas prices aren’t resolved. So Sophie, I was I was curious to just you know, you implied earlier how you have a certain understanding of the dinosaur generation of arbitrators. And I was just curious what…

Sophie  54:28   [laughs]

Oladeji  54:28   What these arbitrators think about all that Federico and blockchain ODR is doing like, how do they how do they feel about the rise of these these new forms of justice?

Sophie  54:42   Right. It’s a difficult question for me to answer without being disparaging [laughs]. I have been, I mean, so with in co-authorship with [undecipherable] and we have been bringing these issues, to the I would say to the, the forefront of the minds of of the arbitration community. Because it is a community and it is a community of very bright people. It is also a free market, as you know. And you have everything ranging from “Well, this, this is not going to happen in my lifetime, and I don’t need to worry about it,”  to “Oh my god, how, how exciting how interesting. Let’s see, you know, what space we can make for this new this new phenomenon.” So there’s been a very wide range, I mean, I have now left the moderation of OGEMID to start a discussion group called ArbTech, which Federico obviously is a part of, and also yourself Oladeji.

Oladeji  55:58   Oh a proud member, I’m a proud member, just so you know.

Sophie  56:01   [Laughs] I mean it’s not membership, it’s a participate, participation-ship. But, but the idea is to, because I felt very strongly that lawyers speaking to lawyers about technology is a great thing. But it’s more important and more interesting for everyone, I think, if it is stakeholders from the many areas of legal tech speaking to each other, so that the developers, the entrepreneurs, understand the way lawyers think, and vice versa. And so I am hoping there is a great deal of interest in in the in the endeavor, there is a great deal of very interesting discussion. I mean, as you saw Oladeji last week, we had Federico talk to us about a non-fungible tokens, which I think for most lawyers, is was something you know, completely new, and it was done in a very… so we aim to bring a, I wouldn’t say a vulgarization, but an understanding, of what’s going on in the tech world, so as not to, so that learners are not put off by not only the concepts, but the the language, you know, its very… people talk about legalese, but I think in the tech world is also a very specific vocabulary. And it is completely understandable if one puts their mind to it. So I would say the response is mixed, but on the whole very positive. And frankly, I don’t think the legal world has a choice but to get engaged with it.

Oladeji  57:30   Yeah, I agree completely. And for the record, when I got the invitation to join ArbTech, I was ecstatic. Because this is really, it’s such an opportunity when we think of the pandemic, you know, there are so many awful things have happened. But there is an opportunity, in my opinion, that has come from the pandemic, where the expectation or the openness that people have to having conversations asynchronously over broad geographic distances, that expectation is, is getting more and more decentralized, shall I say. Like, more and more people are open to these types of forums and learning from other experts in the field who are just not in the same jurisdiction, but you can still learn an immense amount, even if they’re in a different country or a different generation.

Sophie  58:27   Fantastic. Yes, that’s fantastic. And that, to me, is the one great silver lining of the pandemic for the arbitration field is that we used to have, I mean, you could spend, as you know, your entire year going from conference to conference, but then you had to pay for it, you had to get there, you had to you know, find accommodation. Now that knowledge that insight is available free online, and instead of speaking to a room of 150 people, I now speak online to, maybe not 25,000 like Federico, but, but certainly you know, 500 people, and it is fantastic for me to get the you know, the the chats the feedback of, of people that that you wouldn’t interact with otherwise. Not to mention the fact that that inside that knowledge really should be out there for free. So I’m really excited about that.

Oladeji  59:19   Yeah, yeah, me too. And actually, some of the reasons for creating ArbTech are, I get the sense, quite similar to what I’m envisioning with “Convergence,” because this is all about bringing dispute resolution professionals into a community that includes technologists, so that there can be more innovation, and most importantly, more understanding between those two communities. So Sophie, I was if you’re open to it, I was wondering whether you could share with some of our listeners, how they could sign up and join ArbTech.

Sophie  59:59   Thank you very much for giving me an open door to a free plug. You can find us, so we have a website in preparation, but we you can find us on LinkedIn, and you and there is there an opportunity to get in touch with us and an email address. You can also find us on Twitter. And it’s @ArbTech_hub, and we’ll be very, very happy to hear from you. And we are extremely open to cross-disciplinary dialogue. Thanks.

Oladeji  1:00:28   Beautiful. So I did want to go back, you mentioned how Federico was on ArbTech. And he was talking about NFTs and I was I was closely reading the thread that was being communicated on there, Federico, and I have to quote you here because I found this quote to be so interesting. You said that “NFTs as a generic technology can have a huge impact in many, many fields.” And I think that alone got me excited for this conversation. Because NFTs are increasingly popular. We can look to Christie that had an option, I think it was in March. And they sold NFT digital art for $69 million. And then more recently, on May 11, there was another auction, where Christie’s sold a series of NFTs for $17 million. So if we were to equate monetary value with importance, this is this is a pretty important industry. So besides digital arts, which I love, exactly how can NFTs play a role in different industries and maybe even with the legal industry?

Federico  1:01:42   I mean, everywhere that there is some proof of uniqueness, you know, you can use an NFT potentially. Like a typical example is collect cards, you know, collection, baseball cards, you know, these, these unique card is well worth a lot. It’s a piece of you know, carton, but it’s like worth $2 million, just because it’s the last baseball card of you know, this collection from 1920s. Well the NBA started making some NFTs of what they I think they call these Top Shots. And it’s you can buy the NFT of a highlight of a game, then you are the owner. And like you you might ask, well, like why do I care to like being the owner of know some highlight of a game like anyone can watch that highlight on YouTube, right? Well, yes, but you know, happens that you are the only owner of this highlight, right? And other people seem to value that. So I think in some way, like art, digital art it has some, always had this challenge. Digital art or digital collectibles in general, you know, its in the end just bits, right. Why do this Beeple piece that was sold over $69 million on Christie’s, I can just take the file and JPEG and then just have the same one that you bought. You pay 70 million. I can have it for for free, right? Yeah, but you have the NFT and the community values you having the NFT. And then this can translate into a price. Right? When you kind of start thinking, what makes the Mona Lisa be so you know, you could pay someone to make you a Mona Lisa, pretty much like the same one, the original one, and put it on your wall if you want, right, and it’s going to cost you a lot less than buying the original Mona Lisa. Well, but it’s not the original Mona Lisa [chuckles]. People, you know, value this, this scarcity element. So all of the activities as well, we started this podcast discussing, you know, education, online education, which is just one more example of what Marc Andreessen calls “software eating the world.” So it’s eating the world through education. Software ate the world of encyclopedia through Wikipedia. It’s eating the world of finance through Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. It’s starting to eat the world of law through well, machine learning, decentralized justice. Well, it’s eating the world of art through NFTs. So it’s quite exciting and quite scary. As you know all these new technologies are very scary at the beginning. But the applications are infinite, you know. Digital art is the first one and then games. You know, I, oh, look, now I have this sword or this armor in this you know, medieval game that my community values. And so it’s, I have this unique piece of equipment, which is digital and potentially could be copied infinite times, but well, I have the one that has the NFT, right. So that the one everyone wants. New world. You know, it’s, we need to, some time to get to wrap our head around it, but it’s what’s happening these days.

Sophie Nappert  1:05:15   That’s also the that’s also a little bit absolutely the impetus behind ArbTech is to have a forum where the scariness can be dispelled because you can discuss it and you can discuss it with people in the know, like Federico and Joe last week. And you can have things that are, you know, the myths can be unmasked [chuckles] and taken away.

Oladeji  1:05:42   Yeah, I mean, for mediators, and some alternative dispute resolution professionals. it took until the pandemic before some of them openly embraced online dispute resolution. And I, my hope, my aspiration, is that through forums like ArbTech, that we don’t need a another pandemic to come for us to become more comfortable with novel technologies, that we can have forums to just speak about these things. To learn more about them. So so I’m really excited for the value proposition, the use case of of ArbTech into the future.

Sophie  1:06:24   Thanks very much.

Oladeji  1:06:25   Yeah. And and I’ll add, so with and this is me just brainstorming, in the law with with cases, with decisions that are made, I wonder whether people would be interested in tokenizing famous court cases, for example.

Sophie  1:06:45   [Laughs]

Oladeji  1:06:45   [Chuckles]  You know, because…

Sophie  1:06:47   That’s a great idea.

Oladeji  1:06:50   We can, like famous court cases, Brown v Board.

Sophie  1:06:53   Yeah.

Oladeji  1:06:53   Or like, Trump versus Hawaii,

Sophie  1:06:56   [Laughs]

Oladeji  1:06:56   These famous cases. And, of course, people can replicate, they can copy them, but it’s still represented on the blockchain as the only, as the first, as the authentic court casing for Trump versus Hawaii, for example, like, I’m just brainstorming. I hope someone runs with my idea.

Sophie  1:07:17   I think that’s a great, great idea. That is a great idea. And it has been done with memes right. So why not court cases?

Federico  1:07:23   Look, we could, you could, look at this, look, we could like NFT, this conversation after it’s published, and then okay, we can auction this and then people could, you know, we put into this rules of royalties, okay, we are going to split this. Okay, we’re going to give you oh you put this together Oladeji so 50% to you. I’m fine with the 25% and I’m sure Sophie will take 25%, right. And then we can just auction these. And if someone pays something like that, let’s say we raised $1 million, so smart contracts are going to distribute these royalties in the way we agreed and we all get this money. So…

Sophie  1:08:03   I mean we were joking about that with the ArbTech discussion between Federico and Joe. That Joe, before the discussion had ended, had already put it at auction. [Laughs] Which maybe he had.

Federico  1:08:19   Yeah, and you know, but and also also, and see, this is something that we discussed with Joe. And this is something that can show us how the new world of arbitration needs to use new tools. Like the example I gave in that discussion was okay, let’s say I buy, you publish, Oladeji, this podcast, and then someone takes it and auctions it without asking for permission and this is like sold $1 million. So some anonymous guy made this auction and raised $1 million with some work that you produced.

Sophie  1:08:52   Yeah.

Federico  1:08:53   Who are you going to sue and where and in which jurisdiction? [Chuckles].

Sophie  1:08:57   I mean, there are there are serious IP law issues arising out of this, which obviously, I’m not an IP lawyer so I can’t provide anything intelligent on this. But for absolutely sure, those questions are salient.

Oladeji  1:09:13   And my understanding is, it’s pseudonymous to a certain extent, like if someone were to . . .  well I could be totally wrong on this. . .  if someone were to, to copy a NFT, which anyone can, I’m wondering whether that individual would still have to kind of like timestamp on the blockchain they’re copying of it. So that it wouldn’t be their real life identity that showed up, but it would just be their public keys on a blockchain. And if so, then I can see a world where, you know, Kleros has a group of IP lawyers that comes together on on the Kleros system, and and just adjudicates, basically.

Federico  1:09:54   That’s the type of case that Kleros aims at you know. This native digital case where you know, this this anonymous or pseudonymous person that if they do it right, they can very easily hide their real identity, right. If they’re experts that will certainly do it. And you know, as Sophie mentioned, one of the main or core principles of [undecipherable] arbitration is that you know the identity of people who are having the claim, which is not the case here. So you don’t have, even if you like, well, who are you going to, who would you sue? Like its an anonymous address on the internet, its kind of native, a native problem of the internet that has like no, no one thought about this when they wrote the New York Convention in 1950s, right.

Oladeji  1:10:42   [Chuckles]

Federico  1:10:42   So its very very different.

Sophie  1:10:44   1958 [laughs].

Federico  1:10:46   Almost 1960s.

Oladeji  1:10:50   So my, my final question for you both, and if you listened to Colin’s episode, in the last episode, this is this is where he got really creative with 4k virtual reality headsets, and I love it. So my my final question for you both is, what do you believe about the future of technology and dispute resolution that very few people believe?

Sophie  1:11:20   Fede I’m gonna take a stab at this. I don’t know that very few people believe it, but what I’m seeing right now is that there’s going to have to be a fundamental rethinking of what we call due process or procedural fairness, and the gathering of evidence in arbitration. As you know, the work done by people like Jeremy Bailenson, at Stanford Lab on Virtual Human Interaction is, is transformative in the way that virtual and augmented reality is being used. For example, the way that they use it is to, for example, put someone in the, in the shoes of a disenfranchised minority in the United States and get them to experience daily life as that person in order to change certain social attitudes, but you can completely see how this would have a completely transformative impact on the gathering of evidence. So instead of relying on witness testimony, years after the fact that is eminently fallible, or document evidence, that takes a lot of time gather and to exchange, you could completely see an immersion of the tribunal in, in an augmented reality, to see exactly how the dispute arose. That to me is going to be, and I feel, again, coming back to the question of trust, I feel that there might be more trust in that way of running proceedings than there is in the current way, which is very much ex post facto, and subject to, you know, lawyers going over and tampering with people’s versions of what happened. That would be my answer. I hope, I hope that makes sense.

Oladeji  1:13:27   Oh, it does. And I mean, it just illustrates how technology can promote empathy and understanding and with that, you have more trustworthy outcomes basically.

Federico  1:13:41   You know, I was interviewed like when I was starting to learn about these things, you know, crowdsource justice and the blockchain and you know, six years ago I was interviewed on a program, a TV program, and I was saying that well Kleros is something that, it’s a new resolution method for a new type of community, right. And I can see where Colin was going with the 8k, you know, definition because our, the human eye, like it’s not it can’t like see, when you reach to 8k resolution, then I cannot see more than that. So it’s kind of you put me on a helmet, VR helmet, with the 8k resolution, and that’s all of the, that becomes my reality, right. So we are starting to live in the world of virtual reality. Not 8k for now, but definitely, yes. The Telegrams and the the Facebooks and this, we are, well, this conversation we are having we’re in different countries from different places and the jurisdiction that we are sharing basically is the internet, right. And the world is going to these virtual communities. I think that, you know, science fiction can inspire us a lot and can show us where the world is going. And you know, a very good movie tell us where this is going, as you know, “Ready Player One.” Remember these people who live in a world that is very unwelcoming the real [undecipherable] world where, you know, the shanty towns, and they’re poor, but you know, then they put on their helmet and they live in this super cool world where they can be wherever, whoever they want. And this world will have well disputes and its going to have the need for understanding who is human and who is a bot. And this is already happening. It’s quite scary, because it has all of these elements from Black Mirror series, right? This, you know, digital technology can be applied to, well, good or evil and, but in a world where more and more of our interactions are online and digital, and [undecipherable] where we are our operating is digital, and where crowds are more and more important that they want to have a say, and they want to have likes, and likes are what people think that is important and this, you know, I cannot imagine you know, in 10 years and 20 years, so this Kleros being arbitration system for the digital world, and most of our lives will happen there. So this is why it’s relevant. Kleros among others, there will be, there are others, and there are other tools, but you know, digital tools. So the work of lawyers is going to change like dramatically in the next 20 years. Susskind has been saying this for a long time. But I think that this time is going to happen because the people who are the young people now, like they are natives from the internet, and they are not going to go to court for certain disputes, because they are used to do everything from their phones, and the next generation is going to be used to do things from their helmets. So I think that’s where we’re going. And that’s what we have to prepare for.

Oladeji  1:17:25   Love it. And Colin described it as in the next 20 years, basically, the only people we will see in person are our loved ones, close friends and family members, and everything else will be predominantly or exclusively digital. And I think VR, like VR is just that the in the early innings. The the price point is still pretty high. But once it reaches scale, I don’t think people are going to be going, driving miles getting on the bus to go to school or to college. I think they’re just going to put on a VR headset and be with their peers. So So and I can see that also happening with how justice is administered.

Sophie  1:18:14   I do have a question about that. And it’s an open question, because I don’t have an answer. But I sit on a few cases with state parties or state entities. And I think they are reluctant adopters of that model, just because they have I don’t know some sort of accountability to their people. And maybe the decorum of the traditional model suits them. I’m not saying it’s immutable, but I think there may be might be late adopters, I could be wrong. I could be wrong. Certainly maybe not in the in the in the Western world but in other jurisdictions where process and, yes, decorum and authority has has a great importance.

Oladeji  1:19:07   It’s a good point. That’s a great point. So with that, I just wanted to thank you both Federico, Sophie, thank you so much for joining “Convergence,” for sharing your wisdom with all of us. And and I’m excited for the conversation to continue on Kleros or on ArbTech, wherever. I’m excited for future conversations.

Sophie  1:19:31   Thank you so much. It’s always a pleasure to exchange, always a pleasure to spar with Federico [chuckles]. And, and yes, please, please continue to share your ideas and your wisdom on ArbTech. We’re always very, very grateful.

Federico  1:19:51   Thank you for having me Oladeji and yeah, let’s keep talking in ArbTech.

Oladeji  1:19:56   All right great. Bye everyone

 

Transcribed by Otter.ai. Edited by Tracy Blanchard and Bria Etienne.